Wow! What a fabulous vacation. I spent 2 months in the US after not having been there for three years. What an incredible time I have had! New friends, old friends, family, fundraising and fun! All of my hosts from El Paso to Little Rock to Memphis to Sacramento and Albuquerque were gracious, loving, and generous beyond belief. Through donations and sales of art, we managed to raise the money for the new well at our compound, which will provide fresh water for up to 2000 people.

In Albuquerque, I hooked up with my high school friend Janis Carbojal, with whom I have shared a friendship of 36 years. We took a road trip to Little rock, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. I went, to visit friends and fundraise, and she, to sight see and visit Elvis.

The fundraising started in Little Rock. Cynthia East and her daughter Lizzy, who volunteered at Creative Solutions in 2008, hosted a cocktail party just for women, and invited some of their very good friends. We spent the evening talking, laughing and dancing to Tanzanian music. Through their bighearted efforts, we were able to raise US2000, towards the digging of the well!

The following evening, my longtime friend, the incredibly talented musician, Tim Anthony sponsored an event at Afrodesia Studio. Together, we contacted friends and pulled together a very cool jam session, art exhibit and presentation about Creative Solutions. I saw friends that I had not seen in several years, it was a magical night and we raised US760 towards the digging of the well. We were on our way to success!

Janis and I hit the road to Memphis the next morning. In Memphis, my dear sister friend Tufara Waller Muhammad was having a birthday bash and in lieu of a birthday gift asked her friends to sponsor a child at our preschool, at 40 dollars per child, this too was an awesome event. We raised US800, which will provide education for 20 students for an entire year! After visiting Elvis, we were on the road again back to Albuquerque, where we met up with some more of our classmates. My dear friend Pastor Terry Milford donated US100 towards the well, at this point I was just a few hundred dollars short on my goal, when I received a phone call from my sister friend in Sacramento, Gail Shaw.

Gail had just volunteered at our health fair in December, so she knew of our plight first hand. She invited me to Sacramento for the weekend. Gail cooked up a big pot of delicious gumbo and invited over some very special friends. I feel so privileged to know so many Panther rank and rile comrades. I have never met any group of people more dedicated to their ideals. Knowing them and listening to their stories, gives me the courage and determination I need to continue my mission. I thank them for that and for donating 600 dollars towards the well project, which completed the amount needed.

Back in Albuquerque, I was blessed with two artist commissions and my family members donated funds towards the preschool. I am overflowing with blessings, God is so Great!

My Little Rock Hosts, The East Family

Fundraiser for Tufara's Birthday Party

Tim and Janis at Afrodesia Studio

My Sacramento Hosts, Gail Shaw and Billy X

Some of Lizzy's Friends

Tufara's Birthday Party

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Aida's Installation Opening

The Art Installation opening was incredible! Both Tanzanian and International visitors exclaimed that it was unique, thought provoking and beautiful. It was a presentation of visual art, spoken word and performance. The installation will run through 29, November and works are available for purchase. Click on the link to view more works!